Allowing permit parking in Princeton that allows employees to park on residential streets is the wrong move
Do you live on a residential street in Princeton that has 2-hour or 3-hour parking or resident permit parking and that is within a 15-minute walk of businesses on Nassau Street? If so, be aware that employees of Princeton businesses may soon be allowed to park all day on your street. And if you live near Princeton High School, high school students may soon be allowed to park all day on your street.
The Permit Parking Task Force is planning to present a report to Princeton Council that will propose allowing employees to park on these residential streets. I have been attending task force meetings. I have been impressed with the task force members’ hard work and good intentions. Unfortunately, in my view, the task force is going in the wrong direction.
A professional consulting firm that Princeton hired concluded in 2017 that there is ample parking for employees without using residential streets. There are alternative places where employees could park—for example, underutilized meter parking and private parking lots. But the task force has not focused on these alternative places.
The task force should be investigating ways to increase the amount of parking available—ways to increase the size of the pie. Instead, it is planning to add employees to the existing pie and then divide up the existing pie between employees and residents.
What can you do if you have concerns about the permit parking task force’s approach?
1. You can email the task force. Send emails to the chair of the task force, Letitia Fraga, lfraga∂princetonnj.gov. Ask her to forward your email to all task force members.
2. You can express your concerns to Princeton Council by attending the meeting when the task force will present its ideas to Princeton Council. Monday, January 27, Witherspoon Hall, main meeting room. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. Save the date.
It is unfortunate that hard-working, well-intentioned people are pursuing such misguided plans. I hope that hearing from the public will persuade the task force to change direction and investigate alternatives that do not use residential streets for employee or high school student parking.
Why not allow employees of Princeton businesses to park on the sidewalks downtown? Problem solved!
Change comes slowly to Princeton, and when it does, it’s usually a chaotic mess because Residents (that is: those who deserve to live and breathe freely without any bothersome changes) in Princeton have Big Concerns about Very Small Issues, ie, whether the people who serve them their coffee or overpriced lunch or expensive cake/jackets/underwear deserve to park someplace near their place of employment. Crisis! If it bothers you so much, consider making your own meals and clothing, cutting your own hair, and mowing your own lawn. Problem solved!
I, for one, am thrilled that after 20 years of living in Princeton, we finally have people on borough council who are willing to make some common sense changes to the parking regulations to make residents’ lives easier. If they can provide parking for employees, too, without inconveniencing residents, as the proposed plan will do, then everyone should support them.
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